As a society, we’ve fallen into the trap of Chimamamda Adi- chie’s “single story”. It’s not hard to see the distrust, the hate, and the apathy that permeate our society as a result. You might be thinking, “Okay, so those old rich dudes needed to look at the map a bit more closely, and I should do some fact- checking. Maybe I need to pick up a book every now and then, or take a history course. I should probably download that lan- guage learning app I’ve been thinking about”. That’s great. That’s a start. We all need to be more informed about the world around us if we want to fulfill our potential to improve it. But maybe that’s not enough. “Click, Snip, Click” the new CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tool could replace an allele in your child’s genome, changing not only their lives, but life as we know it. What about these BIG issues? New policies will be so influen - tial that they’ll impact the quality of life of countless future generations. The laws that are passed, the regulations that are implemented, they could change who we become as a spe- cies. These problems are not limited to a single technology, or even a single discipline. Important moral dilemmas are being pondered in fields as diverse as genomic editing and pros - thetic limb design. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I like data. I like facts. I like knowing that what someone’s telling me is not just random nonsense that comes spilling out of their mouth, like stuffing out of a cheap stuffed animal. If I had to write those policies, had to predict who would be hurt by the ge- netic engineering of humans, or determine the hidden costs of divulging genetic information to patients, I would like to think that I’d be at least a few notches above an overpriced stuffed animal. Maybe so, but a few notches just isn’t enough. I can think. I can reason. Why shouldn’t I, or any other edu-
A letter to the infuriating part of my brain that keeps asking me why I’m taking humanities
by Charlotte Mineo
Hey type-A, goal-driven person who loves science. You think you know what you're doing? Well, listen to this. “Snick, snick, snick”, the scissors of power and politics cut apart the continent of Africa during the Berlin conference in the 1800’s. “Click, click, click” hateful and uniformed mes- sages permeate the internet in the modern era. What do these sounds of change have in common? Human suffering, and a failure to learn from that pain. Nobody in Berlin was thinking about the cultures of the lands they di- vided. Few thought of their new subjects as people. With a little bit of cultural anthropology, and some human- izing literature, these problems might have been avoided, or at least mitigated. Now cultures are ground into the dust, and wars are fought because of lines drawn in the sand, which were first scrawled on a musty old map. We look back with contempt, considering ourselves so much more enlightened, but, oftentimes, I doubt it. We haven't changed. A tidal wave of information, news, and advertisements in- undates us each and every day, and most of it we choose to ignore. We can create little pockets of cyberspace devoted to individuals with shared emotions, opinions, and back- grounds.
Arts & Humanities
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